More than 70 active and veteran military troops joined close to 100 members of the SCUBA industry to recently celebrate the announcement of FORCE BLUE’s inaugural deployment at an event held at The Ocean Institute, Dana Point, CA.
FORCE BLUE, the only non-profit specifically created to aid former combat divers and Special Operations veterans in their assimilation back to civilian life by giving them a new, positive mission to help the planet, recently announced its inaugural deployment with six Iraq/Afghanistan veterans. Team members will be taught how to adapt their skills to rebuild and preserve coral reefs off the coast of Grand Cayman.
“The outpouring of support we received, not just from the veteran’s community, but from the dive industry, environmentalists, artists, marine conservationists…It’s truly humbling,” stated FORCE BLUE Co-founder and Executive Director Jim Ritterhoff. “People came because they believe in our mission and want to play a part in its success.”
Military veterans interacted with SCUBA professionals while they enjoyed live performances by country music star Cliff Cody and the eclectic music of singer, songwriter and US Recon Marine Brandon Mills; Rock-n-Roll icon, Ian Astbury of The Cult, his wife, Black Ryder lead singer Aimee Nash and IMAX Head of Content Jamie McCabe were just a few of the notable guests who attended the 3-hour event.